Posts Tagged ‘summer camp activities’

Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Summer

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Everyone remembers his or her first summer at camp. They remember the countdown until the big day, the careful packing and the butterflies as they arrive at camp. When you arrive at camp for the first time, you have many questions and uncertainties. You’re curious about the games you’ll play, the food you’ll eat, and how you’ll like sleeping in a cabin. But before the first day of camp is over, most campers are settling in and finding their groove. If you ask most campers about the things they wish they would have known before their first summer at Camp Starlight, this is what they would tell you:

Camp friends become best friends

There is something about spending every day with the same group of people, experiencing so many “firsts” together and connecting over shared experiences that often combine to create lasting friendships. Camp friends become best friends because the entire summer is spent in such tight community, that it is almost impossible not to form long-term relationships with many of the people you meet at camp. You enter your cabin as strangers, and by the end of the summer you’ve shared stories and secrets and inside jokes, you build trust and encourage each other and listen to each other. Camp friendships aren’t tainted by social media, they’re organic relationships built on shared interests and experiences, and they often last a lifetime.

Being outside all the time is amazing

Some first-time campers worry about spending so much time away from home and away from their beloved smartphones. But if many campers knew all of the benefits of spending time outside and away from their screens, they’d be excited about all of the outdoor adventures waiting for them at camp. Camp Starlight is set on beautiful acres of land, surrounded by beautiful natural landmarks. Spending extended time outside allows you to soak in Vitamin D, breathe in the fresh air, and is great for your mental health. Any campers nervous about the amount of time spent outside at camp will quickly learn that camp is the best place to connect with nature.

There’s no need to be nervous

We know spending a summer away from home can be a little nerve-wracking, but veteran campers would tell you that there is nothing to worry about. Campers who let their nerves get the best of them miss out on some great camp experiences. Counselors work hard to make each camper feel comfortable and at home as soon as possible. While it is normal to feel nervous when trying something new, it’s important to remember that camp is specifically designed to be the safest, coolest, most exciting place for kids and teens to spend their summer. There is a 0% chance that you’ll have a horrible time at camp, so there is nothing to worry about.

Teamwork makes the dream work

The sooner you learn to lean on your fellow campers and counselors and work together, the more fun your camp experience will be. The people you share a cabin with quickly become like family, and counselors become trusted role models who work to ensure you have the best summer possible. The summer camp experience is meant to be shared, and you will have much more fun when you work together with other campers and counselors. New campers may be hesitant to ask questions, but if they know how ready and willing seasoned campers and camp staff are to help, they’d feel a lot better about seeking out help. Everyone at camp is there to help each other!

It would be the time of my life!

You will have many assumptions and expectations about your first summer at camp, but there is one thing you can know for sure: you will have the time of your life! Most campers get a general idea that summer camp is designed to be a fun place to spend a few weeks, but if you knew what was truly in store for you, you’d be jumping up and down to get here! Seasoned campers can tell you until they’re blue in the face about how life-changing summer camp can be, but there’s only way to really experience it, and that is to sign up for your first summer camp experience!

There are many things you don’t know about camp until you get here. You won’t know many of the camp traditions, how to sing the songs, the fastest way to get to your cabin, or what activities to try. There will be many questions and a lot of things you will have to learn along the way, but if you can come to camp knowing these five things, you’ll be ready to jump into the camp experience!



Coming Full Circle at Camp Starlight

Monday, November 26th, 2018

A significant number of our counselors are campers who just can’t get enough of Camp Starlight. Some of our veteran camp counselors and staff members started out as wide-eyed, excited, first-time campers who fell in love with sleepaway camp. The camp experience is ingrained so deep into their life that there’s no place they’d rather spend their summer. Some can barely remember a summer that wasn’t spent at Camp Starlight, and they love it that way.

The first year a counselor comes back to camp in a leadership position instead of a camper can be a surreal experience. As they grow as campers, they are given new roles and responsibilities in leadership that prepares them for this role. They serve as big brothers and big sisters for first-time campers and are trusted by counselors and staff to set a good example for younger campers. This prepares them for their role as the ultimate summer role model. When campers evolve into counselors, it means they are fully equipped and ready to help first-time campers have the happiest, safest and most memorable summer of their lives.

Counselors who grew up at summer camp know the campgrounds like the back of their hands. They have formed relationships with other counselors and staff, are familiar with schedules, rules, traditions, and expectations that make camp run smoothly. Their experience as a camper gives them a head start on camp routines and helps them lead in confidence.

Former camper counselors, those who transition from camper to counselor, can share the love of sleepaway camp in a way that others can’t. New counselors can learn to fall in love with camp, but former camper counselors have this love embedded in who they are and naturally share this love with new campers. These counselors have experienced almost everything a camper can experience, so they’re able to relate with common new camper experiences.

Camp Starlight loves all of our counselors, but there is a special place in our heart for full circle counselors. We’ve watched these campers grow and evolve into responsible young adults who are passionate about providing the best sleep away camp experience for every camper, just like a counselor did for them.

The first summer spent as a counselor is a unique blend of new experiences and comfortable familiarity. Counselors quickly fall into the familiarity of camp, while happily embracing their new roles and responsibilities. Every day is different as a counselor and provides a new appreciation and respect for the leaders who came before them.


Every year, campers reach the point where they have to decide whether to end their summer camp experience or come back as a counselor. We know that being a camp counselor isn’t for everyone, but view it as the most significant indicator of success when campers choose to come back as a leader. Camp wouldn’t be the same without our dedicated counselors!


The Importance of International Staff

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

The staff at Camp Starlight is comprised of a wide range of people that hail from countries scattered all over the globe. Camp Starlight becomes a placed infused with so many cultures and new traditions in the summer when staff come from places such as New Zealand, England, Mexico and South Africa. When all these people come to Camp Starlight it can provide campers and other staff members with valuable insight into different lifestyles and help them learn about cultures that differ from their own. It is so valuable to have these international staff members because it helps Camp Starlight become a summer camp enriched with new ideas and cultures. Internationals can help bring new songs to sing around the campfire and new types of friendships bracelets to make for your friends, mixing up the regular everyday American camp customs. They also inspire people to travel and experience new things, broadening minds on different opportunities to take advantage of across the world. It is so important to have international staff so that the campers can still keep learning even in the summer. Even though summer camp is supposed to be a break from school, campers are learning so many important lessons and things about all these different cultures when they come to Camp Starlight. International staff helps campers remain curious and ask questions about things from all over the world, making Camp Starlight a better place for campers every summer.

Camp Starlight Olympics: Day 3 Scores

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Building Independence at Camp Starlight

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Living away from your parents for any period of time is a big adjustment. At camp, campers must learn to do things for themselves and it is through this that independence is learned over the course of the summer.

At Camp Starlight, you are repeatedly encouraged to think for yourself and act on this on a daily basis. This independence builds over the seven weeks and by the end of camp, simple things such as making sure your own area in the bunk is tidy, putting all your dirty laundry in the hamper, or ensuring you’re ready with everything you need for your activities become like second nature.

The self-reliance learned at camp is an awesome skill that assists in everyday life. It boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem as you know that you are capable of doing many things for yourself.

Campers are not left to do everything alone. Counselors and staff members are always present to assist and support Starlighters in their growth throughout the summer. Look out parents- when your camper returns home with their newfound independence, you might just find yourself ‘off duty’ every once in a while.

Recent Camp Starlight Sports News

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Basketball Lower Senior Boys vs Camp Perlman

Camp Perlman was no match for the team play of Starlight. After a strong start from all players, Starlight broke away to steal the win with class. Tyler H. and Maxwell S. had the basket clear in their sights and finished with team high scores of 21 and 13 points respectively. David H. also contributed with 11 points and Ozzie F. scored 10 points. Max G., Sam Y. and Sam S. created lots of movement throughout the court and also snatched 4 points each. A great win for our blue and white Lower Senior boys.

Lower Inter Girls Basketball vs Westmont

The Starlight girls came off the bus and onto the court with a high energy that was hard to match for the opposition, Westmont. Multiple scoring contributions were made to give us the lead early, which Starlight maintained for the remainder of the game. Thanks to an outstanding defensive effort from Sarina S., Hannah G. and Miley Y., Westmont was only able to score 6 points throughout the entire game. On the offensive end, Dylan S. scored 13 points, Avery G. put up 4, Claudia C. contributed 2, and Mikayla T. added 2 points and 6 assists, leading to a final victorious score of 21-6. It was an impressive first game for the 5th grade girls and they’re excited to take on their next competitors.

Lower Senior Boys Basketball vs Morasha

Camp Starlight Lower Senior Boys played hard and competitive in their recent basketball game against Morasha, showing a true demonstration of who we are as Starlighters. The game was intense and evenly matched Each Starlight boy played their heart out.Tyler H., Max G., and David H. scored several points during the game. Maxwell S. and Julien A. had some great steals and Blaze L. had many rebounds just to name a few. The campers from Starlight showed passion, teamwork and sportsmanship and coach Jay was extremely proud of the team’s combined effort and sportsmanship. He said our Starlight boys play the sport the right way- with our traditional Starlight spirit!

Upper Inter Boys vs Nesher

Starlight recently picked up a big 49-19 win over Nesher in the Upper Inter Boys division. A solid performance from all team members made for smooth transitions across the court which resulted in baskets. Leading the scoring for our boys was Ben S. who had a game high 9 points. Avi K. poured in 8 points, while Casey B., Reece M. and Caden Z. netted 6 points each. Finn M. had a nice defensive game with 3 steals and also tallied 4 points. Starlight held a 28-4 lead at half-time and did not look back as they continued to dominate and eventually claim the victory.

Friday Night Speech: Appreciation

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Written by Elizabeth E.

Good Evening…

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Elizabeth E. and I am an upper senior. Thank you for allowing me to come up to talk about the theme of the summer, appreciation, tonight. I would like to start out by saying that 2 of my biggest role models in my life are my older sisters. One is a counselor here this summer. There is 7 year age gap between my oldest sister Sarah and I. So, when I was a lower junior, Sarah was an upper senior. I distinctly remember a time after my lower junior summer when my sister and I were talking about camp and how much we missed it. Sarah turned, looked at me and said, “Elizabeth, you have so many summer left there as a camper. I would do anything to be a junior again and have 8 more summers left at camp. Appreciate it.” Many leagues games, divisional shows, sing-a-longs, and Friday night services later I am now where she once was as an upper senior. I too would do anything to be a lower junior again with so much time as camper left ahead of me. But I would like to think that I took her advice, that I truly appreciated every moment spent here. I now know the importance of stepping back and appreciating every stunning sunset over the lake, every memory made and every one of the 35 girls in my division that I now call family but were once strangers when I was a junior. I don’t know what I would do without them. It’s important to take notice to how much Starlight helps us grow and mature. To appreciate that camp changes us all for the better.

I am now going to give you all the same advice that my sister once gave me. Though you don’t need to be a junior to hear it. Whether you have many years left here or just a few weeks, appreciate every moment spent here. Appreciate the laughs, the smiles and especially all of the people that make this place so amazing. The friendships you make with these people, they will last much longer than the summers spent here. I truly believe that Starlight is a special and one of kind place and that is something to be appreciated.

I, for one, appreciate the opportunity for being asked to speak in front of you all this evening. Thank you again and have a great Friday night. Thank you.


New Starlight Amphitheater

Sunday, July 8th, 2018

Picture this: a balmy summer evening and the view of the beautifully calm lake stretching out to the endless green woodland. The sun is slowly setting for the day producing an unbelievable sky of soft orange and pink. Everyone is sitting, watching in admiration. But the nature isn’t the only thing everyone is admiring right now because we are seated at the new Starlight Amphitheater!

The Starlight Amphitheater, whose stage frames our picturesque lake, was a project over the winter months that took a simple idea and turned it into an outstanding reality. Designed by director, Allison Miller, it offers a new outdoor experience like no other. The amphitheater is outfitted with lights and sound and further enhances our lakefront experiences.

Although new, the structure maintains some sentimental elements of its previous years. Four original trees from this location have been incorporated into the finished product, acting as pillars at the four corners of the stage.

From the stage, the lake seems closer than it ever has before, like you could stretch out your hand and feel the warm water on your fingertips. And if you turn your back to the lake, you face a beautiful panorama of bunks, sporting fields and tall trees.

On Friday night’s this view of camp sports an even prettier foreground; the first generation to use this facility, the Starlighters of 2018. The weekly Friday Night traditions and many other evening activities take place here giving campers and staff a special place to gather and appreciate both the nature surrounding us and how lucky we are to be here at Starlight this summer.

Throughout the day you’d be hard-pressed to find a time when there are not a group of campers on the stage practicing for the play, playing with diabolos or simply sitting, chatting and appreciating the view.

It’s such perfect location to be enjoyed by the Starlighters of today and many generations to come.


Everyone Loves a Cookout

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Break out the anywhere chairs— it’s time for a cookout! Hearing their division called on the loudspeaker summons a crowd of hungry and eager campers to the cookout site. While the Seniors serve the chef’s best knishes, hot dogs, hamburgers, and watermelon, they also serve up some hilarious tactics to get the campers enticed by lettuce, pickles, and onions to top their burgers. From lower juniors to CA’s and staff, there is not a knish left to spare. Campers and staff laugh, eat, play games and throw footballs in front of the scenic Pocono mountains.

Not only is the food delicious and the view unbelievable, but like most things at camp, it’s clearly all about the people. Camp siblings, relatives, friends, counselors, department heads, key staff, and day-campers all join together to enjoy the meal. Starlight is truly one big family, and it shows. It’s almost impossible to find people by bunk at a cookout because everyone is together, interacting with all members of the Starlight family. At a Camp Starlight cookout, everyone is part of the empty-plate club and leaves with full stomachs and full hearts excited for the evening activity. Everyone loves a cookout!

Singin in Starlight Studios

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

The Rec Hall is a special place on camp that is home to both the Starlight Playhouse, known for its incredible performances, sing-alongs, and talent; and its newest creative spot: “The Basement”

The Starlight Studios was already a musician and maker’s dream with its radio broadcasting, video production, garage band, and makerspace; and the addition of “The Basement” takes it up another notch. With a piano, stage, stools, microphones, and sound equipment, “The Basement” is a singer’s oasis. Whether you are a trained singer or a diamond in the rough, “The Basement” is a space for all campers to hone their craft.

Kirstin G., the voice specialist at Starlight for the summer of 2018, is pumped. After just one full day of activities and having campers in the studio she said, “It has been so much fun!” From our Juniors to our Seniors, campers have been singing, dancing, and getting Footloose in “The Basement.”

The Lower Debs recently visited this awesome new area to let out their camp excitement at the top of their lungs– quite literally. Receiving compliments from other Starlight Studio staff and nearby campers, these girls knew how to bring the fun.

Kirstin is so excited for other age groups to experience “The Basement” for the first time and they can’t wait to be there! The perfect den to rock out with friends, this newest space in The Starlight Studios should expect lots of visitors and awesome times this summer!